Study Shows How 20 Minutes Of Exercise A Day Can Keep A Hospital Stay Away

Everybody builds their lives around the habits they perform day in and day out. What you do consistently over a period of your life is considered a habit. Habits are not easy to give up, for better or worse. Some daily habits that might not be doing your health any favors include drinking coffee first thing in the morning before water, eating junk food, sitting at your desk for too long without a break, spending too much time on your phone before bed, and not getting enough sleep.

On the other hand, some good modern daily habits might include writing your thoughts and feelings in a journal, practicing meditation, making sure to eat fruits and vegetables, keeping in touch with family and friends, staying hydrated, and of course, exercising.

Exercise is a critical part of maintaining your health because it can not only improve your mood, aid in losing weight, and help you get better sleep, but it can also assist in staving off potentially dangerous health conditions and diseases like anxiety, arthritis, some cancers, depression, type 2 diabetes, and stroke. You might be wondering how much daily exercise you should get in order to achieve those benefits. Here's everything you need to know. 

Do you exercise for 20 minutes a day?

2023 study published in JAMA Network Open looked into the risk of hospitalization for those who get daily physical activity. The researchers analyzed data from over 81,000 participants ages 42 to 78 who used an accelerometer — a device that measures how often, how long, and the intensity in which people exercise — to gauge levels of daily physical activity. They then cross-referenced the data against 25 of the most common reasons for hospitalization.

The researchers found that 20 minutes of daily moderate to vigorous physical activity lowered the risk of hospitalization for nine of 25 common conditions. The biggest difference was seen with gallbladder disease, diabetes, and urinary tract infections. Other conditions with lowered risk of hospitalization include venous thromboembolism, ischemic stroke, pneumonia, iron deficiency anemia, diverticular disease, and colon polyps. But more physical activity came with greater increases in the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoarthritis, and inguinal hernia.